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Karnataka : Congress gets Deputy CM, speaker posts with 22 ministries

A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with mother Sonia Gandhi negotiated terms of power-sharing with Janata Dal (Secular)’s HD Kumaraswamy in Delhi, the two sides have finally agreed to appoint G. Parameshwara as the deputy chief minister of Karnataka.

Kumaraswamy, who is set to take oath as the chief minister of the state today, had previously opposed the appointment of a deputy chief minister, while Congress was in favor of appointing two of them. Both parties finally reached an agreement yesterday and decided to name Parameshwara for the post.

As the Congress president for Karnataka and a senior Dalit leader, Parameshwara was the front-runner for this position ever since his party agreed to a post-poll alliance with JD(S). The Muslim and Lingayat communities had demanded a deputy chief minister belonging to their respective communities, but Congress named Parameshwara instead and has planned to keep open the option of appointing another leader for this post later.

Congress also retained the assembly speaker’s post by naming former minster KR Ramesh Kumar, while JD(S) has been given the option of appointing a deputy speaker of its choice.

Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal, who had participated in the meeting between Rahul Gandhi and Kumaraswamy in Delhi yesterday, told media reporters that out of Karnataka’s 34 cabinet posts, 22 will go to the Congress party and JD(S) will keep 12. He said portfolios will be allocated after the floor test on Thursday.